GEEK 2014

The GEEK festival has been developed in Margate, Kent. Since 2012 it has run in the February half term inviting people to come and play in a seaside town in the Winter. The GEEK festival is a family event designed for all ages, genders and technical abilities. At GEEK2014 there were two halls of games to play as well as workshops, talks, presentations and demonstrations.


The team have also worked on other projects all aimed at getting people together to make , play and have fun. Sometimes these are GEEK events – sometimes they are one off projects. We would love to work with you to bring our mix of learning fun and games to a shed, High Street or shipping container near you. Contact us or take a look at what GEEK does beyond the festival.

Theme Park Creative Build


Inspired by Dreamland and made possible by Multiplay, we ran a competition in the run-up to GEEK2014 to help us build a themepark in Minecraft. We had a phenomenal response with almost 90 people sign-up to the server and many amazing attractions built. It was tough to select the winners, but here are the top three who got their hands on gaming accessories from Razer. 1st: JN514 2nd: TEWKESAPE 3rd:MAXS10316


Minecraft Gaming Zone


Whether it was Parkour or the Hunger Games that was being played, there was always a queue at GEEK2014 for the Minecraft cave, as it was so popular. Minecraft is a sandbox game with a strong focus on building with blocks but also includes exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and combat.


A great to visit GEEK2014 today, lots of talented people, with lots of exciting projects going on. Looking forward to next year.


Independent Game Developers


Indies are usually much bolder and more adventurous than the large game studios, and this was reflected by the games showcased at GEEK2014. From a beautiful pop-up book style adventure to gravity-shifting puzzles, from an occulus rift virtual reality experience to a very bouncy head-to-head race, the indie zone had it all. We couldn’t decide which game was best so we asked the GEEK visitors.


The People’s Choice Indie Award went to Force of Habit for Timmy Bibble’s Friendship Club, a four-player battle to be the best imaginary friend. With bullets that bounce forever and the ability to head-butt your opponents, the game gets crazy very quickly. Although the frantic chaos might make you think anyone can win, only one imaginary friend can come out victorious.


The makers of Timmy Bibble's Friendship Club winning our People's Choice Indie award.

Film Screening


Explorations in game design interactivity and inspiration, Us And The Game Industry converses with the makers of Journey and other leading independent game developers giving a rare and beautiful insight into their world. This film has been touring the world and has been screened in Mexico City, Toronto, Copenhagen, Capetown and now in Margate.


 “In two words, the audience response is that the film is “fascinating” and “inspirational“ for people in designing worlds, for critical and creative thinkers as well as for parents and young people alike.”


I had a great time in Margate at GEEK2014: blast from the past playing on PS1 games again!


The First Heat of the Funstock CGC


We're not saying it's about the winning, but the glory of a medal around your neck and a ticket to play against other champions at Play Expo is worth competing for. That's exactly what Harry Thomas won when he won the GEEK heat of the Funstock Classic Gaming Championship.


Competitors played five classic video games: Balloon Fight, NAM-1975,  Sega Rally, Paperboy and Super Smash TV. They logged scores for each of the five games and were given points according to their ranking. These points were combined to give an overall ranking.


100s of Retro Games Since 1970s


The main hall of GEEK2014 was yet again stuffed full of retro console games from the very start of home computer games. Whether you wanted to play Goldeneye or Bomberman with your friends, challenge your family to Pong or try something different with Chuckie Egg. The retro games proved popular with all generations, even those that weren't alive to play the games when they were released.


Bringing the generations together through games.

Introducing my 12 year old daughter to retro gaming. She loves all of the modern stuff and didn't really understand my love for retro......not until GEEK. As soon as we got back home, the SNES was out and Super Mario World was on for hours!! Now she is bugging me to get more can I resist?


Pokemon Battles on the DS


You’ve been building your pokedex, you’ve been training your Pokemon, you’ve battled your friends, but what’s next? Battles at GEEK! We had Whitstable Pokemon Gym at GEEK2014 running battles for all the Pokemon Trainers that use their own copies of Nintendo DS Pokémon games.


Pokemon Battles on the DS


Not all gaming involves a computer. Throughout the weekend we had a range of card games running with thanks to Groovy Frog. I’m not talking about playing bridge or poker: these are specialist card games with decks consisting of cards with special powers. From Magic The Gathering to Yu-Gi-Oh!, from Pokemon to Cardfight Vanguard, the GEEK card zone was popular with a wide range of visitors.


The Main Hall buzzing with activity.

An Accesible Gaming Charity


Special Effect are a charity that put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with disabilities by helping them to play video games. They came to GEEK to show us some of their equipment and help answer our questions about what they do.


Elliot and his family have recently been helped by Special Effect.


4 Game-Maker Artists Residencies


We were given funding by Arts Council England for 4 artist residencies and we challenged them to create a game to test at GEEK that was inspired by Margate. Our chosen artists came from across the UK and Europe; from Leeds to Brighton, Kent to Belgrade. The games produced were equally as diverse.


Check out the residents' blog.


The photo scavenger hunt turned a bit surreal.


a Margate Game by Pheebs & RWig


A scavenger hunt through time and photography.

Race against the clock to recreate vintage seaside snaps.

Which side will you pick – digital or film?

Track players' progress on Twitter.


#Margategames #TouristTrap14 @pheebsrwig


a Margate Game by Seb Lee-Delisle


Lazer Arcade brings you the classic old-fashioned side-show combined with 80s arcade games and brings it up to date with lasers. It's a brand new prototype developed especially for the Geek Festival, and it's capable of recreating any shooting or throwing game, including a Nerf Gun shooting gallery and a laser coconut shy.


#Margategames @seb_ly


Families Testing the Lazer Arcade: part of the Margate Games

a Margate Game by Bogdan Spanjevic


Your task is to identify and save the person possessed by a playful ghost by sending Geek Hunter into a dangerous mission. You must control Geek Hunter via direct video link from the wearable camera and help him find the ghost…

…before the ghost finds him.


#Margategames #geekhunter @bspanjevic


a Margate Game by Invisible Flock


A locative cinematic experience. Created for mobile devices If You Go Away invites individuals to explore a real landscape through a fictional filter of alternative maps and other selves. A multi-user experience to be participated in simultaneously in multiple locations, in which people pass each other as virtual shadows. A project currently in development.


#Margategames @invisibleflock


Another fantastic event for the games community and public in Margate.


A Digital Debate


Before the festival, GEEK hosted an afternoon of discussion and debate focussed on the digital industries roles and needs in the future. Chaired by John Newbigin (Chair of Creative England) and with a key note speech from Ian Livingstone (co-author of  The Next Gen report) using video games as a tool for creativity was a big theme at Hack the Future. We also heard from Amy Solder (Nesta), Jon Pratty (Arts Council England) and Emma Cooper (Team Cooper) which spurred great conversations around the tables of business, education and art representatives.


TinkerSoc show off their 3D printer.

University of Kent's Maker Society


The University of Kent’s Tinker Soc is a society for makers, hackers and those interested in building interesting things with technology. We had them at GEEK2014 to show off their 3D-printer and to talk about what they do when their society meets. GEEK loves meeting, making and playing, TinkerSoc embodies all three: Meet new people, Make awesome stuff, Play with technology.


Play is a fundamental method of learning and discovery.


Coding and Project Conway


John Ennew from Deeson Online talked at GEEK2014 about coding with the Raspberry Pi and was on hand to help anyone interested in getting to grips with coding with this simple yet powerful computer. Deeson have collaborated with Digibury (a ditigal meet-up in Canterbury) and University of Kent’s TinkerSoc to create a game / art installation / technological masterpiece called Project Conway which will eventually be displayed in Canterbury’s Beaney House of Art and Knowledge. Project Conway involves a lot of LEDs, some clever programming and John Conway’s Game of Life.


GEEK: Where coding meets vegetables.


EPIK (Encouraging Programming in Kent) ran a range of 3-day "digital bootcamps" for young people to learn coding around Kent in the lead-up to GEEK. We were one of the hubs where the workshops took place and had the honour of hosting the finale to EPIK's Maker Party 2014.

With Creative Skillset


GEEK is passionate about training and believe the best way to learn is to do it, so we were thrilled to have Creative Skillset come along to GEEK2014. They spoke and answered questions on what steps you can take to get into the game industry and similar industries. Creative Skillset help connect those who want to train, are training or are looking for jobs with companies  who can offer apprenticeships, training or jobs.


With Dr George From BoostEd


There were some fascinating and fun experiments going on at GEEK. Whether it was finding out what makes popcorn pop, or trying to make bouncy balls from custard, all these great experiments could be done at home. I’m sure it wasn’t just the children learning new things, and there is so much more that can be learnt through play. Thanks to BoostEd for running the science workshops.


Thank you for a lovely time see you next year.


Two and a half weeks old but joining in the fun at GEEK2014 in the cosplay masquerade.

a Showcase of Costumes & Characters


 Ziggy Newman and the wonderful Cosplayers returned to GEEK2014. The Queens Hall was packed with people coming to watch the Cosplay masquerade, they filled the chairs, crowded round the edges and over-flowed onto the balcony just to get a view of the colourful costumes parading, dancing and acting across the stage.


 osplay means costume play and is a very colourful, inclusive 'culture' where you dress up as a character or idea. Anyone one can join in, you just have to dress up! Gender, size or age is no boundary: our youngest competitor was two and a half week old Jack: the tiniest Man Of Steel.


The colourful Participants of the cosplay masquerade

My favourite thing about GEEK is the sense that you can talk to pretty much anyone and find a common similarity that both enjoy.


Girls sharing a Nosy-Crow story-book app at Reading Fairy's story time.

For Ages 3-7 With Reading Fairy


Emily Guille-Marrett from Reading Fairy, graced our stage for an engaging and exciting story-telling session. The children were gripped by her dramatic retellings of popular bed-time stories. She went on to speak about reading with youngsters, and showed us some apps from Nosy Crow that can be used by kids learning to read. This was an excellent demonstration of games for good. Games can be an engaging way to tell a story and to learn. It was great to see so many young ones joining in!


The controls were made out of jelly for our game of Tack and Field on Sticky Sunday.

Silly Messy Games


Popular with the children, Sticky Sunday offered everyone the chance to challenge their friends and play with their food. Ever wondered how you might play Track and Field with Jelly instead of buttons? Needless to say it got very messy. Punch the Custard was popular with all ages and many were fascinated by how the nature of the custard changed when you hit it. These games can be made by anyone with some basic coding skills, so why not get your hands on a makey-makey, arduino or raspberry pi and make your own sticky games (just make sure you clean up afterwards).


It was great to have punch the custard back at GEEK2014. I love that game. Disaster averted thanks to TinkerSoc, brilliant skill sharing


With Alfonso Buendia


All ages were found drawing at GEEK2014; our Sunday session was extended by 4 hours because of all the interest. Visitors were able to colour-in some video game characters with pro-markers, use a structure to draw their own character or go wild on blank paper and draw whatever they wish. All of this creative awesomeness was guided by the talented graphic designer Alfonso Buendia


All ages have a go in the drawing workshop

A Graphic Novel Discussion


Games are just one visual way of telling a story, graphic novels are another. We were honoured to have Gareth Brookes, winner of the First Graphic Novel Competition, talk intimately about his work. He told us about how his time studying Fine Art at RCA affected his path into becoming a graphic novelist. His latest work The Black Project stands out not just for its intriguing storyline of a boy who makes girlfriends out of things from around the house, but for the beautiful illustrations of grotesque creations that fill the pages. Gareth Brookes uses a combination of embroidery and lino-cut printing to create his ‘home-made’ feel graphic novel and it is inspirational. GEEK hopes others are spurred on to play with illustration and make a unique graphic novel of their own.


 Its been great to see some of the games I had as a child but also to speak to other parents and just see the children happy.


Where Dreams Are Purchased


We love to get a memento of the weekend, or a gift for that special person that couldn’t make it and our marketplace was rammed full of goodies to buy. From comic-covered canvases to retro video games, from custom t-shirts to pixel-art keyrings, the marketplace wasn’t just full of the usual gaming merchandise. We even had our very own GEEK stall with official GEEK2014 merchandise


There was lots of awesome things to buy from the marketplace.